It’s December 8th and the Big Blue Nation is still excited about Wildcat football. There is no bowl game to make travel plans for this year but for Kentucky football fans every day has the potential to be Christmas. Fans are looking for the coaching staff to fill out and possibly a commitment or two before the recruiting dead period starts on the 16th. The earliest that we could hear something about some of these hires is Monday due to the university’s hiring process, but tonight I thought I would let you know what I’m hearing about potential coaches. Everything expressed is STRICTLY rumor.
- Neal Brown is the most popular name on the lips of UK fans. All signs point to Brown becoming the next offensive coordinator in Lexington. Texas Tech is expected to clean house following Tommy Tuberville’s defection to Cincy. So Brown no longer has a job. Tech players have said on twitter that brown was leaving and he reportedly was not at the staff meeting with the university president this evening. He has been linked to some head coaching vacancies at small schools but is not among the top choices for any of those openings. UK wants an OC soon and it would be extremely risky for Brown to try to slow-play them.
- The first name mentioned when Stoops was hired was that of Florida State OC James Coley. One of the best recruiters in the country, Kentucky fans were ecstatic to see him in Lexington. That may be hold, as Coley has had an offer but has yet to accept it. It’s likely he was not offered the OC position but assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator. Coley is expected to explore his options which may include head coach opportunities before deciding. If he waits too long, the ship might fill up. One way or another, Coley wants out of Talahassee.
- Thus far, only one name has surfaced for the Special Teams Coordinator. That name is former LSU ST/DC and Northwestern State HC Bradley Dale Peveto. Peveto has experience in the SEC and can coach on defense. I’m not sure what link he has to Stoops but like I said, he is the ONLY name being brought up for the job.
- During his initial press conference, Coach Stoops told us that current coaches would “absolutely” be considered for a spot on his staff. This is common, as it helps ease the transition. Mike Summers and Chuck Smith were expected to be the most likely to be retained. Smith appears to be out withn the announcement that DJ Eliot will coach linebackers. Summers is still very much in play but is far from a lock. This week it circulated that DL coach David Turner would stay on staff, much to the chagrin of fans. That rumor has been pretty well shot down though.
- On offense, if Brown takes the OC job, Texas Tech RBs coach Chad Scott is expected to follow brown to Lexington. If Mike Summers is not retained, Troy OL coach John Schlarman is expected to get a look. The three of them are UK alumni and have all coached together at the collegiate level. Another name being floated on the offensive side of the ball is former Tennessee receivers coach Darrin Hinshaw. Former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal’s name has popped up because he worked with Stoops at Miami, but that’s a very long shot.
- On defense, Texas Tech DL coach Robert Prunty has been linked to UK. He is a 2-time Big 12 recruiter of the year. Washington State’s Joe Salave’a worked with Stoops in Arizona. Another Arizona connections is Oklahoma Grad Assistant Ryan Walters, who would coach defensive backs. Walters would be an interesting hire as a young energetic guy who could relate to recruits.